Do you need to learn how to say “no” more often?
It’s the final episode in my goal setting series. We’ve talked about clarifying our purpose or our why when it comes to our goals. We created a clear plan and then scheduled the steps in that plan along with finding someone to hold us accountable. And today we finish up by talking 2 letters that can make a huge difference in your ability to reach your goals and maintain boundaries to protect your time, energy and effort. And those two letters are N and O. That’s right, we are talking how to say “NO” and why it is important to learn to do this as a business owner and as a mom.
Learning to confidently say no to tasks, people, or opportunities that don’t serve you frees you up for the tasks, people, and opportunities that do. You start to control your time and energy rather than feeling tapped out by constantly meeting the needs and goals of others.
If you are aware of your priorities and learn to evaluate if a task or opportunity serves you, you can learn to boldly say “no” without the need for explanation or excuses.
You might be thinking “saying no feels so negative. I want to be a positive person.” Or “I don’t want to disappoint people”. Maybe even “I’m afraid if I say no I’ll miss out on an opportunity”. And I totally get that. I’ve been working on my “saying yes too much” recovery for many years.
But I love this quote from author Paolo Coehlo…
“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself.”
Maybe it helps if we think of it as being a “yes to you” person rather than a “no” person.
How to Tell if You Need to Say “Yes to You” More
Do you feel tapped out? Do you feel like you don’t have time for yourself or your family? Are you working with people who don’t bring you joy or surrounded by clients who don’t respect your boundaries? Do you feel like you give and give without feeling appreciated? Maybe like you spend so much time fulfilling everyone else’s to-do list that you don’t have time to tackle the priorities or goals on yours?
A practice of confidently saying “no” helps you make time for yourself and your family. It helps you work on your personal and work goals because you aren’t filling your days with tasks you’ve reluctantly agreed to do for other people. And while saying “no” might feel negative, you will start to recognize how positive it feels to fill your day with tasks, people, and opportunities that fill your cup. That help you maintain your positive energy.
On a daily basis, you will feel like you are in control of your schedule. You make the rules. You create a business and family life based on your goals and priorities, not feeling guilty or obligated or at the whim of others.
And when you prioritize your priorities at work, you are able to complete the truly important tasks and turn off work, and tune into family. You can prioritize the quality time with your family, your spouse and your friends versus feeling overwhelmed by obligations to people or tasks that aren’t on your VIP list.
Learn How to Say “No”
But where do you even start being “yes to you” person. How do you tell if a task or opportunity should be a “yes” or a “no” if you are so used to saying yes? I’m going to give you 10 questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you say “yes” or “no”
- Do you want to do this?
- Does it require your specific expertise?
- Do you have time in your schedule for this?
- Does this align with your values?
- Will it take time away from yourself or your family?
- Will it take time away from your work?
- Is it a priority?
- Will it take time away from something else that is a priority?
- Could someone else do this?
- Will there be an opportunity for me to do this in the future?
What these 10 questions help you do is slow down and evaluate opportunities before you answer. They help you think of alternate ways you could be involved. For instance, if it doesn’t require your expertise and it would take time away from something that is a priority, could you delegate it to a member of your team. If there is an opportunity to do it again in the future, can you get on the list for the next time around?
Ok. So now you have a system to determine if you should say “no”. But how do you actually do it if it doesn’t feel comfortable? Or you still have that nagging voice saying “you’re going to let people down”? Or they can’t do it without you.”
Say it in the mirror. Start by saying “no” to easy no’s. Recognize the times you are saying “yes” and find yourself wishing you said “no”. Commit that feeling to memory so you don’t get roped in again.
The more you practice slowing down and taking time before you make commitments, the easier the no will become. You will start to see progress on the goals you’ve set because you are focusing time and energy on tasks that help you. Rather than spreading yourself too thin. You will start making time for yourself, your family, and your friends again. You will start saying “yes to you” and your goals, your priorities, and your values.
This Week’s Family Fun Tip
This week’s family fun tip comes via last week’s guest on 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur, Luana HueSing. Luana mentioned in our episode that they do weekly family meals with her mother. I noticed in her IG stories Friday that they created a tabletop nacho bar this week. It seemed like a fun option for any of us planning some stay at home Super Bowl activities or just a fun Friday night like Luana.
If you haven’t seen the TikTok trend yet, you start by covering a table with foil. Both to protect the table and for easier cleanup. Make a line of tortilla chips down the center of the foil. Then layer on your favorite nacho toppings….meats, beans, tomatoes, queso, lettuce, jalapenos, guacamole. A pro tip I read is to use queso versus shredded cheese since you can’t melt the cheese in the over. Unless you have a really big oven. Once you’ve layered all your favorite toppings, dig in!
For even more ideas for family fun, join my Free Monthly Family Fun Bucket List. Each month I’ll send you a worksheet to figure out what and when you’ll spend quality time with your family. And you’ll have a monthly family meeting so everyone can submit their input…and mom doesn’t have to plan it all. Click below to join my Monthly Family Fun Bucket List.